It nearly goes without saying that having an accurate location of your Things is the first and most important type of information you need to measure and improve your business processes.
Securent’s Cyber-Physical Trackers (CPT’s) are small, self-contained, sensor-laden programmable computers that report their location to the Securent Cloud at time intervals you determine.
CPT’s include GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou satellite location service receivers to accurately determine the position on earth outdoors, and with improved receiver sensitivity, indoors as well to a certain extent or depth within a building depending on the building’s composition.
As discussed in the Sensor Fusion Technology blog post, Securent CPT’s also leverage alternative sensor capabilities if needed to determine location, such as sensing Wi-Fi Access Points within range, ability to temporarily act as an iBeacon and also ‘listen’ for iBeacon messages from other nearby devices using its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio, and a form of ‘dead reckoning’ based on a recorded history of GPS location and velocity up until GPS satellite reception was lost. Coarse location information is also available through the CPT’s cellular radio as well.
Despite this ‘belt and suspenders’ approach of multiple backups and sensor fusion techniques to always be able to determine location, Securent R&D is actively researching and prototyping additional means of determining fine-grained physical and logical location, particularly in indoors environments, that is relevant and essential to improving your business processes.
Just say NO to Expensive Infrastructure Investments
Securent’s mantra for its customers is to provide solutions that do not require large investments in new equipment and other forms of supporting infrastructure to function.
One cost effective offering Securent has for accurate indoor location is providing low-cost ($10), battery-powered, programmable SecureBeacons. SecureBeacons are small computers with Bluetooth Low Energy iBeacon transmit and receive capabilities, and optional Wi-Fi client capabilities. Customers use a free smartphone / tablet / PC application to program each SecureBeacon with a unique ID (or simply re-use the factory-set ID) and control parameters such as radio transmission power (which affects the range at which this beacon will be ‘heard’, typically between < 1 meter and up to 30 meters ) and how frequently it sends out these radio beacon signals, such as once every 10 seconds.
Additionally, Securent customers are able to program an additional short data string to be sent with each radio beacon transmission, such as a work cell identification address, or a code describing the current area, such as "Work In Progress" area, Re-Work area, and so on.
Securent Cyber-Physical Trackers, CPT's , which have the full cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capabilities can be configured to automatically turn on their 'iBeacon listener' when GPS signals are not available, and/or when the device enters a geographical area, such as a distribution center site. With this iBeacon listener active, the Securent CPT now reports its location using the iBeacon information.
Note that the CPT can simultaneously receive iBeacons from multiple sources, allowing for the creation of hierarchical 'zone' schemes and richer contextual location information.
The transmit power tuning capability of SecureBeacons means customers are free to set the 'location granularity' of each SecureBeacon, for example, one SecureBeacon may be set to transmit at full power with an ID indicating an assembly area in a factory. Other SecureBeacons may be programmed to transmit at very low power, for example to indicate the asset being tracked is at a particular work cell, or a particular dock in a distribution center. The CPT will 'see' both of these SecureBeacons, and report to the SecureCloud for example that it is in Assembly Area 1, work cell 17, or in a distribution center scenario, report it is at a bank of receiving docks, and in particular dock 3.
All this location information is available in real-time through secure but easy to access and integrate RESTful API’s provided by Securent Cloud Services, for example to integrate into business process execution logic in Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP), and Transportation Management Systems (TMS).
Securent Cyber-Physical Trackers, combined with Securent SecureBeacons and Cloud Services, form a complete Industry 4.0-enabling solution, all with extremely minimal installation and integration investments.
Contact Securent Today for the fastest and most efficient path to achieving Industry 4.0 for your business!